In a trader-friendly move, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Saturday approved changes in the Master Plan 2021 for local shopping complexes (LSCs) to legalise the unauthorised commercial establishments across Delhi.
While the traders' associations are happy to get the much-needed relief, the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) criticised the step saying the new amendments will create "rampant commercialisation and traffic chaos" in the national capital.
The Supreme Court, however, has directed local bodies to provide parking space in the market and if there is no space then a common parking plot should be developed to avoid the unwanted traffic jams in the city.
In case of parking facility cannot be developed, the market will be declared a pedestrian street, according to an official from North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
As per the latest amendments, the sealing drive will be at a halt in the local shopping complexes but will continue in other areas across the capital, the monitoring committee appointed by the Supreme Court said.
The local shopping complexes (LSC) will now get a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) of 350 and are allowed to use the basements for commercial activities. A FAR of 350 means commercial establishments from the ground up to the third floor and half of the fourth floor can be legalised.
The shops, which have been sealed previously will have to go through the de-sealing process. The owners of those shops will have to submit a written application to re-open their shops and produce the required documents.
The Delhi sealing drive, which started in 2006, is a campaign by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to seal a number of illegal commercial establishments in Delhi, which are running in residential areas without authorization. The drive witnessed considerable opposition from traders’ associations across Delhi.